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|Tik-Tok of Oz||L. Frank Baum|
The Land of Love
|Page 3 of 4||
"Do you know why?" asked Ozma.
"Why, he's a Kansas dog; so I s'pose he's different from these fairy animals," replied Dorothy.
"Hank isn't a fairy animal, any more than Toto," said Ozma, "yet as soon as he came under the spell of our fairyland he found he could talk. It was the same way with Billina, the Yellow Hen whom you brought here at one time. The same spell has affected Toto, I assure you; but he's a wise little dog and while he knows everything that is said to him he prefers not to talk."
"Goodness me!" exclaimed Dorothy. "I never s'pected Toto was fooling me all this time." Then she drew a small silver whistle from her pocket and blew a shrill note upon it. A moment later there was a sound of scurrying foot-steps, and a shaggy black dog came running up the path
Dorothy knelt down before him and shaking her finger just above his nose she said:
"Toto, haven't I always been good to you?"
Toto looked up at her with his bright black eyes and wagged his tail.
"Bow-wow!" he said, and Betsy knew at once that meant yes, as well as Dorothy and Ozma knew it, for there was no mistaking the tone of Toto's voice.
"That's a dog answer," said Dorothy. "How would you like it, Toto, if I said nothing to you but 'bow-wow'?"
Toto's tail was wagging furiously now, but otherwise he was silent.
"Really, Dorothy," said Betsy, "he can talk with his bark and his tail just as well as we can. Don't you understand such dog language?"
"Of course I do," replied Dorothy. "But Toto's got to be more sociable. See here, sir!" she continued, addressing the dog, "I've just learned, for the first time, that you can say words--if you want to. Don't you want to, Toto?"
"Woof!" said Toto, and that meant no.
"Not just one word, Toto, to prove you're as any other animal in Oz?"
"Just one word, Toto--and then you may run away."
He looked at her steadily a moment.
"All right. Here I go!" he said, and darted away as swift as an arrow.
Dorothy clapped her hands in delight, while Betsy and Ozma both laughed heartily at her pleasure and the success of her experiment. Arm in arm they sauntered away through the beautiful gardens of the palace, where magnificent flowers bloomed in abundance and fountains shot their silvery sprays far into the air. And by and by, as they turned a corner, they came upon Shaggy Man and his brother, who were seated together upon a golden bench.
The two arose to bow respectfully as the Ruler of Oz approached them.
"How are you enjoying our Land of Oz?" Ozma asked the stranger.
"I am very happy here, Your Highness," replied Shaggy's brother. "Also I am very grateful to you for permitting me to live in this delightful place."
"You must thank Shaggy for that," said Ozma. "Being his brother, I have made you welcome here."
"When you know Brother better," said Shaggy earnestly, "you will be glad he has become one of your loyal subjects. I am just getting acquainted with him myself and I find much in his character to admire."
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|Tik-Tok of Oz
L. Frank Baum
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